ABB Announces Fuel Cell System Pilot on Royal Caribbean Vessel

Thursday November 9, 2017

ABB says it is set to deliver a fuel cell system to be piloted onboard a Royal Caribbean International vessel - the first fuel cell system to provide an energy source for a luxury cruise ship.

The pilot installation, which has been fully developed, marinized, assembled and tested by ABB Marine & Ports, will include control, converter, and transformer technology from ABB, and will generate 100 kW of energy.

ABB notes that it has selected an FCvelocity proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure hydrogen fuel cell engine from Ballard Power Systems for the pilot system.

"This pilot installation demonstrates that fuel cell technology is now firmly in sight of the cruise industry. Fuel cells have been the next big thing for 25 years, but now they are reality," said Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB Marine & Ports.

"At ABB, we believe that the next generations of vessels will be electric, digital and connected. Fuel cell technology matches exactly that. Fuel cells have significantly higher efficiency than combustion engines and allow energy to be concentrated more densely than in petroleum fuels. If you use renewables to produce the hydrogen the entire energy chain is clean and truly emission free."

Last year, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) announced that it would utlise hydrogen fuel cell technology to provide additional power on their new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered Icon vessel class.